Exodus 7 begins the next phase of God setting His people free. God has been positioning Moses before Pharaoh. “I have made you like God to Pharaoh….you shall speak….Aaron shall tell Pharaoh”. Things are going just according to God’s plan. Doesn’t match Moses plan or ours for that matter. So there must be more to it than we see on the surface. God reveals some of that here: “I will harden Pharaoh’s heart….Pharaoh will not listen….I will lay my hand on Egypt….great acts of judgment”. Moses will speak – Aaron will deliver – Pharaoh will hear – He will not listen – God will act. Why this plan?
“The Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord”. God is doing all this to make the Egyptians know Him. That is His goal for all of us. He wants us to know Him. We need to realize that is one of God’s missions in every persons life. He doesn’t make us accept or believe Him – but He is in the business of making sure we know Him. He does that through His creation, and sometimes through circumstances that we face along the journey of life. We should pay attention to that driving desire – and know that He does things often to get our attention. Are you paying attention?
This time “Moses and Aaron did so; they did just as the Lord commanded them”. No arguments – they go talk to Pharaoh. Just as God told them he doesn’t listen so “Aaron cast down his staff” but his magicians “did the same by their secret arts”. God was not to be outdone so “Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs” but that was not enough to make Pharaoh listen. So God began his first plague. Why? “By this you shall know that I am the Lord”. The outcome was to be freedom for His people, but the desire is that the Egyptians would know Him.
Aaron strikes the Nile as God had instructed and the plague occurs. “The water that is in the Nile….shall turn into blood….fish in the Nile shall die…Nile will stink…. the Egyptians will grow weary of drinking water from the Nile”. Water was a mainstay for the people so this is a big deal. It wasn’t isolated to a small area as scripture says “there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt”. God showed His hand strong through Moses and Aaron. But Pharaoh doesn’t budge – his heart is still hardened. It lasts seven days before Moses goes to see Pharaoh again.